Never too old, or too ill, to mark the love in marriage

Mary and David
Mary and David

A DEVOTED couple struggling with ill-health renewed their wedding vows to mark their 52nd anniversary on Saturday.

David and Mary Hill have been inseparable since they tied the knot at St Stephen’s Church, Copley, in 1960.

For the last seven years, Mary, 73, who suffers from dementia, has been a resident at Claremount House, Claremount, Halifax.

David, 75, of Haley Court, Halifax, visits every day when his health allows.

Last August he was due to have a heart by-pass operation but was then diagnosed with terminal cancer.

He arranged the service at St Thomas’s Church, Claremount, which they both attend.

“It is something I wanted to do to bring us even closer together at this time,” he said.

“Another year or two and I might not be here.”

Mary is wheelchair bound and has limited speech but was aware of the special day.

The couple used to enjoy sequence dance and lived in Halifax.

“She was my dance partner and best friend,” said David, a former caretaker.

Their only son, Garry, died aged 42 around eight years ago.

Grandson Michael Hill, 29, of Blackpool, attended the service.

“They are both ill now but wanted to show how much love they had for each other,” he said.

Home manager Gwen Richards said David is devoted to Mary.

“It’s wonderful and so sweet. The staff think it a lovely thing to do,” she said.

Rev Guy Jamieson, who conducted the service said the renewing of their vows was a moment to treasure.

“And, to say thanks for all the years of life together and to renew and bless the marriage.”

During the service David placed the original wedding ring on Mary’s finger.

The small congregation, which included David’s sister and husband, Susan and Reg Crowther, sang “All Things Bright and Beautiful” and the service ended with a kiss for David and Mary.

A reception was held at Claremount House.